Suzana Popovic-Montag presented an excellent paper on accounts at the October 18, 2012 Hull & Hull LLP Breakfast Series, and I made special note of her comments on adjusting compensation awarded. Some occasions that adjustments are appropriate are:
· increase - when a care and management fee is charged on an annual basis (usually 2/5 of 1% on the gross value of the estate), which is properly sought where the estate or part of it, is to be held in trust and not distributed to the beneficiaries within the executor’s year;
· increase - when a special fee is claimed by the executors, where the administration is extraordinarily complex or time-consuming; for instance, when the estate has been involved in litigation, where the executors were required to operate the deceased’s business, or where the executors were required to deal with new legislation;
· decrease – when transfer are made in specie or are simple transactions;
· decrease - where an executor retains another to act as an agent to perform duties, the agent’s fees should be deducted;
· decrease - where a trust company is retained on an agency basis to administer an estate or trust, fees paid to the trust company ought to be deducted;
· decrease - where a solicitor performs executor’s work, the fees relating thereto ought to be deducted; for example, when the solicitor compiles an inventory of estate assets, keeps accounts, pays bills, makes investments, or opens estate accounts;
· decrease – where the estate’s accountant prepares income tax returns, the fees relating thereto should be deducted (although some case law says this should be decided on a case by case basis);
· decrease - the costs for preparation of accounts in court format for a passing of accounts ought to be deducted; and
· decrease - compensation charged on disbursements to an executor/solicitor for legal services provided by him or her ought to be deducted.
You can find a much more fulsome commentary on this and other account issues in the paper itself, which will be posted on our website.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
Natalia Angelini - Click here for more information on Natalia Angelini.